Australian supermarket chain Coles has partnered with Microsoft to improve the overall experience and gain an advantage over competitors like Woolworths. Under the partnership agreement, Coles will be deploying Microsoft AI solutions to improve the experience by anticipating customer needs and reducing manual labour. Coles will also be using Microsoft Azure under the agreement to boost efficiency.
According to Coles, the use of AI and cloud technology will reduce employee involvement and will manage tasks like price markdowns.
This strategic partnership builds on our long-standing relationship with Microsoft and will enable the Smarter Selling pillar of our strategy through efficiency and pace of change. We’re very confident that Microsoft will empower us to achieve more.
By moving to the Azure cloud we will be able to simplify our operations and deliver at pace. The Azure-based Enterprise Data Platform will allow us to execute advanced analytics and artificial intelligence across all areas of our business at extreme scale.
– Roger Sniezek (Coles chief information and digital officer)
Coles will also be combining Microsoft AI with Flybuys, which is Coles’s own reward/loyalty program to identify customer habits. AI will also help Coles minimize repetitive tasks like stock handling and management. Microsoft AI will also be deployed in warehouses to improve the logistics and will be used by Coles in its meat processing division as well.
Coles is committed to improving efficiency and stock availability in stores and delivering higher service levels for our customers.
The investment we are making in this technology is expected to lower supply chain costs, provide safer working environments and enhance our business competitiveness.
– Steven Cain, Mnaging Director, Coles
Coles is not the first Australian supermarket chain to use technology to improve the customer experience. Last month, Woolworths announced that the company is extending its trial of scan-and-go technology which should allow customers to skip queues.
Via Yahoo News